Join us this summer to improve your teaching in a fun, friendly, and rigorous environment. Three full summer levels will be offered, taught by our Hungarian and American faculty. Whether you are a brand new music teacher, have years of experience, or are somewhere in between, these courses will help you develop the tools and skills you need to become a better music teacher and musician. Our courses can prepare you for teaching music to Kindergarten through 8th grade and beyond!
DIANE GELLER, MME
Ms. Geller has devoted the better part of her forty-two years in music education to teaching and promoting the Kodaly Approach from the Pre-Primary through graduate levels. She has served as a music specialist, K-6 in the Los Angeles, Vista, Fallbrook, and Capistrano Unified School Districts as well as several school districts in Oklahoma. She returned to California after serving for four years on the faculty of Silver Lake College, Manitowoc, WI, where she taught graduate and undergraduate courses in Music Education.
She holds a Master of Music Ed. degree with a Kodály Emphasis from the University of Oklahoma, a Kodály Music Certificate from Silver Lake College, and a B.A. from California State University at Northridge. She has had extensive experience teaching children in both public and private schools in the Kodály concept of music education. For the past 34 years, Miss Geller has taught Folk Song Research, Methodology, and Solfege courses for Kodály certification at CSU Northridge, CSU LA, USC, CSU Fresno, University of Oklahoma, Azusa Pacific University, University of San Diego, and Palomar College, where she also co-directed the Palomar Youth Chorale for thirteen years. In 2006, she received the OUTSTANDING EDUCATOR AWARD from the Organization of American Kodaly Educators. She has the director of the Brio Chorus, one of the ensembles comprising the Children's Center Chorus, part of the Choral Arts program based at the California Center for the Arts, Escondido, founded by Joe and Dana Stanford from 2012-2020.
LÁSZLÓ J. CSER
LÁSZLÓ J. CSER in widely known in the Southern California as an outstanding classical pianist, jazz performer and music educator. He has charmed audiences of all ages in academic and entertainment venues.
Mr. Cser graduated from the Bartók Conservatory, Budapest, Hungary. He earned BA and MA degrees ay California State University, Los Angeles, with Post Graduate Studies at the University of Southern California. He emigrated to America with his violinist wife, Marika Cser, in the 1970s.
Mr. Cser is Professor Emeritus of Music at Los Angeles City College where he taught harmony, musicianship, piano and jazz subjects from 1975-2005. He developed and has taught the Musicianship curriculum for the Kodály Assoc. of Southern California (KASC) since 1980. He is a lifetime member of KASC and a member of the Organization of American Kodály Educators. He belongs to the American Federation of Musicians Union Local 47.
Mr. Cser’s publications include the following:
• The Essentials of Tonal Music 1988
• Harmony and Musicianship with Solfege 1997
• Harmony and Musicianship with Solfege (Daniel Wanner, co-author) 2016
KATHY HICKEY, DMA
Experienced music educator Katherine Hickey specializes in elementary music and pedagogy for music literacy skills. Bachelor and Master of Arts degrees in piano performance were completed at California State Universities at Los Angeles and Long Beach, including a year of study at the Liszt Academy of Music, Budapest. She earned a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Music Education from University of Southern California, honored as Outstanding Music Education Graduate.
A frequent presenter at local, state, national and international conferences, Dr. Hickey’s presentations include choral music, literacy skills in music, art music listening, discovery learning, and Kodály curriculum and materials. Her research activity is centered on Jenő Ádám and his role in the development of the Kodály approach. She is currently Professor of Music at the University of Redlands in California, Past President and Treasurer of the Organization of America Kodaly Educators (2004-06, 2011-2018), and current International Kodály Society Secretary-Treasurer. Dr. Hickey was honored with the OAKE Outstanding Educator award in 2019.
Kelly Adams is a twice-over graduate of the University of Southern California where she received a Bachelor of Music degree in music industry and a Master of Arts degree in music education. In 2013, she attended the Kodály Association of Southern California (KASC) Summer Institute where she fell in love with Kodály’s revolutionary methods and ideology, eventually receiving her certification under Dr. Kathy Hickey and Kurt Cereske in 2016. She continues to build Kodály-based curricula for the Santa Monica-Malibu School District and the National Children’s Chorus. Kelly also serves as President on the KASC board, and currently teaches Level I Pedagogy during KASC’s Summer Institute at Azusa Pacific University. Kelly was recently invited to be the guest conductor at the 2023 KASC Honor Chorus Festival. When she’s not teaching, Kelly performs, writes and records with the band Karmina (search Queens of Heart to hear Karmina’s latest album) and sings in feature films (How to Train Your Dragon, Wonder, Pan, The Lorax). Kelly is thrilled to conduct her 5-year-old daughter Rudi in Prelude Level at the National Children’s Chorus!
Eric Lifland holds a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Pennsylvania. As a choral conductor, he counts Jerry Blackstone, Fernando Malvar-Ruiz, Mandy Brigham, and Steve Kronauer as his primary mentors. Eric completed his Kodály certification at the Kodály Association of Southern California and serves on their board as Executive Secretary and Choral Festival Chair.
Eric has worked at Los Angeles Children’s Chorus for six years, where he is currently the Apprentice Choir Director, Young Men’s Ensemble Assistant Conductor, and advanced sight-singing instructor. Eric also works as a middle and upper school music teacher at Polytechnic School, where he directs the choral program, accompanies and coaches musical theater, and teaches music history and theory. Eric maintains a selective private studio of voice and piano students, including a Spotlight Grand Prize Finalist in Classical Voice.
Previously, Eric worked for Education Through Music-Los Angeles for five years as a K-5 general music and choir teacher in several LA public schools, including Normandie Elementary and Rio Vista Elementary. Eric also served as Assistant Conductor of the Pasadena-based choir Artes Vocales for five years and briefly worked as an assistant to Broadway director Hal Prince.